Headaches & Migraines
If you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Approximately 80-90% of people across the U.S. endure occasional or frequent tension headaches. They are also the third most commonly reported source of pain across the world! Whether they are acute and temporary or constant and chronic (such as migraines), headaches can all be treated by physical therapy.
Physical therapy isn’t normally someone’s first thought when they have a headache – most of the time, the common reaction is to take some form of pain-relieving medication. This may help to relieve pain in the short-term, but if you are constantly suffering from headaches or migraines, pain relief drugs will not provide you with the same long-term effects that physical therapy will. If you’ve been dealing with pain caused by headaches, contact Orchard Park Progressive Physical Therapy today. We will help you figure out what is causing your headaches and provide an effective, safe, and natural treatment plan for eliminating them!
What are the different types of headaches?
Many people may not know this, but there are actually different types of headaches that all develop from different causes. The three main types of headaches include:
- Tension headaches. The most common form of headaches are known as tension headaches. These can occur due to repetitive motions or poor posture in the neck/head. Tension headaches are caused by a strain on the “dura mater,” which is a sensitive membrane that envelops the brain. The dura mater lies in close proximity to small muscles at the base of the skull that go into spasm when the dura mater becomes strained, thus sending pain signals to the brain and causing your headache.
- Musculoskeletal headaches. Musculoskeletal headaches occur when there are significant amounts of tension in the neck. This is typically a result of physical imbalances, weaknesses, or damage, although emotional tension (such as stress) can also be a contributing factor. A traumatic injury to the neck, such as whiplash, is a common cause of musculoskeletal headaches. With common neck injuries such as whiplash, the muscles and connective tissues in the neck can become torn or strained. This can lead to agonizing pain felt in the head, as well as in the face, shoulders, or neck.
- Cervicogenic headaches. Cervicogenic headaches are also related to neck pain, involving the top three vertebrae of the neck. These headaches can develop as a result of certain conditions, such as a concussion or arthritis, but work-related strain can also trigger a cervicogenic headache. Professions that require a down-turned motion of the head or neck are the most prone for developing cervicogenic headaches. This may include hairdressers, long-haul drivers, chefs, nail artists, jewelers, etc.
If you are one of the 15 percent of the general population that suffers from migraines, you know that the worst part is feeling helpless. Whether you feel helpless when it comes to preventing a migraine or helpless when it comes to treating migraine, you can’t help but feel enslaved by a condition that causes 91 percent of sufferers to miss work or other daily activities. Fortunately, the solution for migraine management may be simpler than you think.
What is migraine?
A migraine attack is not considered a headache but a neurological disease. Nearly twice as many women as men are affected by migraines. Attacks are usually characterized by painful throbbing or pulsing on one side of the head, usually accompanied by changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, or sensitivity to sound. Migraine attacks usually begin in childhood but can begin during adolescence or early adulthood.
What causes a migraine attack?
One of the most frustrating parts of a migraine is that there is no definitive cause, therefore there is no definitive cure. Some researchers believe that a migraine is caused by changes in the chemicals in the brain that regulate pain. Others feel that problems in the brainstem and its interaction with certain neural pathways cause migraines. Still others believe environmental factors play a role in migraines. Diet, exercise, light, heat, stress, medication, or changes in sleep can all affect whether a person experiences a migraine attack. Other risk factors include age, family history of migraine and hormonal changes due to puberty or menopause.
Find relief for your headaches through physical therapy:
If you are suffering from headaches or migraines, contact our Orchard Park physical therapy office today. At Orchard Park Progressive Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to providing you with the best treatments for your headaches. At your initial appointment, one of our highly trained physical therapists will conduct a physical evaluation and ask you questions about your health history and symptoms, in order to determine what type of headache you are experiencing and where the pain is stemming from. A treatment plan will then be designed specifically for you and your recovery.
At Orchard Park Progressive Physical Therapy, our treatments for headaches and migraines focus on relieving pain, improving posture and strengthening muscles in the neck and upper back. These will all help in making your daily life much more comfortable and bearable – without the pain of headaches! To schedule your appointment, Contact Us Today at Orchard Park, NY Center to speak to one of our Orchard Park physical therapists.